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Road quality, innovative machinery and digital transformationInterview with Bob Kegelaers, general manager south-west Europe Dynapac

by Fabrizio Apostolo

The main event of presentation of the new Dynapac, since three years part of the Fayat Group, was held in November 2017 in Warderburg, Germany. After approximately two years,we met in Milan Bob Kegelaers, Belgian, Regional General Manager South West Europe, to focus on the market growth and the strategies of the new road construction company.

Mr Kegelaers, can you describe your competence area?

My responsability as regional GM includes France, Italy, Spain where we have specific legal entities, Dynapac France, Dynapac Italia and Dynapac Iberia. In Portugal, which belongs to Dynapac Iberia, we work with two dealers. Moreover, my competence area includes Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg), a country where we work with dealers reporting to Dynapac France. In total, I am supervising seven European countries. Also in Italy, we had to create a completely new business: for three years we have been based in the centre of Milan, near Porta Nuova (our visitors love this place), after having moved from Cinisello Balsamo, where Atlas Copco is based.

 

Photo Gallery: Dynapac machines at work

 

 

How has your approach to the market changed after entering Fayat Group?

I observe that now we are much more focused on our business, instead, before, with Atlas Copco, we were a small player in a big group. Nowadays, in the Fayat Group, we are not just a number but we have become important players, because in the Group the road construction is one of the most crucial part of the business. Customers now see us as top player. Inside the Group, every company is totally free to take its own decision to make the business grow. As an effect, Dynapac has grown for the last three years thanks to this new approach applied by the team. The point is that our customers are back on track with us, this was a goal of our slogan: Your Partner on the Road AheadFirst and foremost, Dynapac is a partner for every customer, but we do not sell just a machine (aftermarket, for example, is very important for us), but, in addition, we give a service during all the construction process and we build roads looking always ahead, i.e. towards the future. We rely on our partners, we work with dealers, with external agents, we rely a lot on our people, we want to move all together as a team, we want to be always present on the worksites with our customers.

 

Let's focus on the Italian market: what is your opinion about it?

If I look at the Italian market within my region, I can notice some differences compared to other countries. In some of my markets, for example, rental is predominant. In Italy, it is still not the case, but there are changes in that segment. For us, Italy is a difficult and demanding market. Nevertheless, Italian customers are very loyal, let's think for example about the customers we “lost” in the past for several reasons that now are coming back. Also because the never lost the good feeling about the brand Dynapac and they know the product very well. What is more, today our “historical quality” significantly grew up because of huge investments into innovative technologies.

 

We come back to the idea of the future, as the Dynapac slogan goes...

Yes, indeed. We do not sell a product, we sell a journey, and the market appreciates this approach. Our customers today want to know the traceability of asphalt and from which plant it comes. They also are eager to know the details about the material and how to document the entire work flow. This is digital transformation and Dynapac is working hard on it since the beginning. For example in Germany, our Paving Manager application is a big success (now Paving Manager Pro is available). It permits to follow the full process of the asphalt. In France we started this way, surely we will do also in Italy.

 

Regarding the present, Dynapac feeding machines are already on duty in Italy. Could you describe this type of innovative equipment to us?

Feeders are machines designed and used to improve quality. We started to work on this product six years ago, now we can offer it with different conveying systems: short, medium and long. Concerning the first model, the optional is the SwingApp (5m and now also 6m length) that makes it a super flexible and versatile machine, permitting for example to feed two pavers at the same time. Why do the people use a feeder? In Germany, which is our primary market for this machine, the feeder is used in all the main works and its use is regulated. Why? Because you do not stop the work process, if you do not have the feeder sometimes you have to stop the machine and the quality is not the same, the surface quality is not at 100%. This trend is now moving to the UK and France, which is now a huge market for feeders: customers were using it in the past, but not frequently, today instead they do, we achieved quite a good success last year in France and we expect a further development in the following months. The machine is also widely used in Italy. The feeder permits more and more control, from authority side and organization side. Our machine is the only one in the market 2.55m wide, so it is ideal for transportation in France and Italy. We already talked about the SwingApp: it is another very important benefit.

 

Can you mention some applications of the feeder in Italy?

We used feeder in Nardò Technical Center (Porche Engineering), and recently we are using feeders in important airport paving works. In Trieste airport, for example, and now in Olbia, in Sardinia, working for Pavimental and Geasar, where we use two MF2500CS without SwingApp. Our machine is quite compact, it has the same dimension as a paver, 2.5m of width as I said, for this reason, it is is ideal for every paving main project, airports, motoways, national roads, and even in big cities areas. Abroad, our feeders are working very hard on the German motorways, in the international airports and also in Formula 1 circuits (Hanoi in Vietnam, Zandvoort in The Nedtherlands), where the quality is at the top. On the whole, many big companies have a feeder in their fleet, in France for example they are purchased also by the rental companies, because the investment is quite huge. 

 

Can you name other advantages of this machine?

Speaking of spare parts for both, feeders and pavers, we can notice that they are similar, so it is possible to activate synergies in the service, which is a strategic activity for us. Moreover, the machine guarantees a very high feeding capacity, theoretically even 4 tons per hour: it depends on plant production capacity and, obviously, on the trucks. Last but not the least, I can mention the added value of technology: feeder exactly like paver and roller are all equipped with Dyn@link, so it is possible to follow your machines from distance, you know exactly where and what they are doing. We have Dyn@link Basic, Advanced (standard on all the machines) and Dyn@link Pro (only for the paver): in this latter, extra sensors permit to know how much asphalt has been used and how much more you need to finish the work, what the thickness is, etc. Moreover, you can link Dyn@link Pro to our Paving Manager App in order to follow the entire process, from the asphalt plant to the journey of the trucks, to the paving area. From our experience, for the 50% of the time in the jobsites, people are waiting for example for the trucks or asphalt plant is not ready yet. With the system like ours, you know exactly when the truck will arrive, and you can optimise the activity of the workers and of the fleet. This is an example how our technology is becoming a key factor in improving the quality of the final result.

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